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Cablegate: Mubarak and Qadhafi Confer On Al Summit Planning, Visas For

VZCZCXRO0216
OO RUEHBC RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHTRO #0110/01 0410759
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 100759Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5776
INFO RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 1545
RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/CDR USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEHJM/AMCONSUL JERUSALEM 0064
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS 0083
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 0050
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0883
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1212
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 6334

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 000110

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/MAG

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/3/2020
TAGS: PREL AL KPAL KSUM EG LY
SUBJECT: MUBARAK AND QADHAFI CONFER ON AL SUMMIT PLANNING, VISAS FOR
EGYPTIANS

REF: A) TRIPOLI 53; B) TRIPOLI 95

TRIPOLI 00000110 001.2 OF 002


CLASSIFIED BY: Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador, US Embassy Tripoli,
Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
1. (C) Summary: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak flew to Libya
on February 3 for a three-hour meeting with Muammar al-Qadhafi
to discuss the upcoming Arab League Summit and growing
differences over requirements for Egyptians entering Libya.
Qadhafi reportedly also expressed interest in trying to mediate
between Egypt and Qatar. Mubarak was expected to counsel Qadhafi
that Libya needed to do more to assure Saudi Arabia that the
summit would not lead to any new tensions between the two
countries. The Egyptian Embassy expects that Iran will be
invited to the summit at the ministerial level but noted that
several Arab countries -- including Egypt -- would boycott the
summit if Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended. The Egyptian Embassy
chalked up recent visits by Hamas Political Chief Khaled Meshaal
to "independent" rather than official GOL initiatives to broker
a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation in advance of the March 27 summit.
Engagement with Qadhafi in the run-up to the Arab League Summit,
strongly advocated by the Arab diplomatic community here, could
help manage his notorious unpredictability. End Summary.

2. (C) Muammar al-Qadhafi held private talks with Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak in Sirte on February 3 to discuss
Libya's upcoming presidency of the Arab League (AL) and
continuing differences over entry requirements for Egyptian
nationals coming to Libya. Egyptian poloff said the three-hour
visit would help the two countries coordinate in advance of the
March 28 Arab League Summit scheduled to take place in Tripoli.
Mubarak planned to counsel Qadhafi that Libya needed to better
assure the Saudis that the Libyan-hosted summit would not serve
as a platform to embarrass the royal family but instead move
forward in a spirit of reconciliation between the two leaders.

IRAN EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE AT THE FM LEVEL

3. (C) The Egyptian poloff expected that Arab-Iranian relations
and Palestinian issues would dominate the summit, and he noted
that Libya had made recent, high profile contact on both issues.
The Egyptian ambassador also told the Ambassador that Sudan and
upcoming non-proliferation events in the U.S., as well as
Qadhafi's possible proposals to create new high-level political
and military positions in the Arab League along the lines of
NATO and the EU, would also figure prominently. Arabs, he said,
would not tolerate surprises like Libya's management of the July
2009 African Union Summit in Sirte, where Qadhafi's rumored,
last-minute invitation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
had caused Mubarak to cancel his attendance at that summit at
the eleventh hour. (Note: While Iranian diplomats were at the
venue to advance Ahmadinejad's visit to the AU Summit, his visit
was cancelled on the day he was supposed to arrive.) Should
Ahmadinejad attend, he said, several heads of state -- including
Egypt's -- would boycott the summit. He expected Iranian FM
Manuchehr Motaki, who visited Tripoli on January 14, to
represent Iran as an observer. The Iranian outreach by Libya is
reportedly consistent with Qadhafi's new vision of being able to
serve as a bridge between Tehran and the Arab world.

PALESTINIAN UNITY TO FIGURE LARGE ON AGENDA

4. (C) Recalling the yet-unfulfilled January 2009 pledge by
Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to provide $1.5 billion in
reconstruction assistance to Gaza, the Egyptian poloff assessed
that Palestinian issues would provide plenty of opportunities to
weaken fragile Arab unity and that Arab leaders would be
"holding their breath" and hoping to avoid unwelcome surprises
by the unpredictable Qadhafi. Although Libya has played host to
Hamas' Khaled Meshaal twice in as many months, the Egyptian
poloff did not expect any major initiatives by the Libyan
government to force Hamas-Fatah resolution before the March 28
summit. In his view, "independent" initiatives like those of
Khalid al-Humeidi -- son of long-time Qadhafi insider al-Khweldi
al-Humeidi -- would intensify on the outside chance a Libyan
could reach a breakthrough. Humeidi reportedly visited Ramallah
and Gaza earlier this year to meet with Mahmoud Abbas and
Meshaal and has organized humanitarian assistance to Gaza
through his quasi-independent International Organization for
Peace, Care, and Relief (septel).

5. (C) While MFA A/S-equivalent Omran Abu Kraa and Deputy
Foreign Minister-equivalent Muhammed Siala have been named to
lead Libya's preparations for the summit, the organizing

TRIPOLI 00000110 002.2 OF 002


committee has not communicated with member states on logistics
or the agenda. A purpose-built site for the conference is
rumored to be under construction on the sprawling grounds of the
new Libyan Protocol office, though guest palaces nearer public
view at that site appear to require more than seven weeks to
complete. The Egyptian poloff commented that Arab leaders would
be less forgiving than the African delegations in Sirte -- some
of whom slept on the beach as they awaited proper room
assignments from their Libyan hosts.

EGYPT SEEKS EASING OF LIBYA VISA REQUIREMENTS

6. (C) During his February 3 meeting with Qadhafi, Mubarak was
expected to push for resolution of increasingly serious problems
regarding Libyan entry requirements for Egyptian nationals.
According to the Egyptian poloff, Egyptians are still subject to
new requirements for visas or valid work contracts begun earlier
this year (ref a) while Algerians and Tunisians have reverted to
earlier rules allowing entry without a visa upon demonstrating
financial self-sufficiency (in the form of $800 cash). Recent
bilateral agreements with countries providing significant labor
to Libya, including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, include 500 dinar
(USD 420) commissions for Libyan sponsors of guest workers from
those countries. In the Egyptian poloff's view, officials
taking advantage of the financial inducements for sponsoring
workers from those countries bore part of the blame for Egypt's
continued troubles. Libya recently began a crackdown on illegal
Egyptian workers. The Egyptian ambassador told the Ambassador
that the Libyan crackdown resulted initially from European
pressure on Libya to stem illegal traffic to Europe, and
intensified after the extensive and embarrassing Egyptian press
coverage given to Mutassim al-Qadhafi's New Year's partying in
the Caribbean (ref b).

COMMENT

7. (C) In the wake of his failed attempt to extend his
leadership of the African Union, Qadhafi undoubtedly is looking
to the March 27 Arab League summit and beyond as a way to
bolster his international standing. His massive ego and
notoriously erratic behavior have generated much concern among
the Arab diplomatic community here about the summit and its
outcomes. The Arabs here have been very insistent that the U.S.
has a role to play in influencing the outcome by engaging
Qadhafi in the lead-up to the summit.
CRETZ

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